Vikingland Band Festival
Band Festival

Alexandria, Minnesota

Always the last Sunday
in June

City of Alexandria

Vikingland Band Festival : For Directors

For nearly 40 years, the Vikingland Band Festival has inspired students to reach new heights of performance excellence. The late June date (always held the last Sunday of June) ensures that bands are at the peak of their summer season. And Alexandria's extra-wide main street provides an outstanding venue for bands to perform for the panel of six expert judges. These are just some of the reasons the event has earned the reputation as the "state championship" for parade marching bands.

Although many of the performing bands are experienced competitors with long-standing traditions of excellence, we invite and encourage new and less experienced bands to be part of the event as well. The education, intensity and sportsmanship provide a valuable experience for any band.

The parade competition uses the timing criteria established by the Tri-State Judging Association. As of 2015, the performance time limit for each band is 4:30 (four minutes thirty seconds). Each band has 4:30 to clear the 100-yard performance area. Timing begins when the first band member enters the contest zone and ends when the last member exits. This provides time for bands to show their skills as they choose, while ensuring a good experience for spectators by maintaining a sense of parade flow.


If you're a band director and would like information about having your band perform in a future Vikingland Band Festival, contact Festival Coordinator Rhonda Blaser to request an application form.

Applications to participate in the Vikingland Band Festival are generally due by March 1 of each year.

Invitations for competing bands are typically sent by e-mail in early February. The application deadline each year is March 1. Band selections are announced by early April. Early acceptance may be possible for bands traveling a great distance.

In addition to the full slate of competing high school bands, unique exhibition groups are selected to perform as an Honor Unit. Honor Units are usually selected and confirmed six to nine months prior to the Festival.


Many groups have chosen to create a "tour" by scheduling activities and additional performances in the days preceding their Vikingland Band Festival appearance.

The festival committee is available to assist with information on nearby performance and recreation opportunities. Plus, the committee can provide a list of hotels or assist in securing gymnasium housing.

A popular weekend tour includes:

Friday evening: performing in a nearby parade
Saturday morning: performing in a nearby parade or rehearsing in Alexandria
Saturday evening: watching or performing in the Festival's Saturday night musical event ... the "Minnesota Drum Corps Premiere"
Sunday afternoon: performing in the Vikingland Band Festival parade

The festival coordinator will be able to suggest ideas of additional opportunities for your group.

June 25, 2023
June 30, 2024 - 40th Annual
June 29, 2025
June 28, 2026

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